South Africa is set to get its first electronic driver’s licence, according to a report by BusinessTech.
The Driving Licence Card Account (DLCA), which is the sole producer of driver’s licences in the country, is making upgrades in preparation for the introduction of the digital licence.
According to the DLCA’s annual performance plan for its 2021/2022 year, it aims to modernise the “driving licence production environment”.
This will see it upgrade its equipment for the printing of driver’s licences, and produce a new physical driver’s licence card for local motorists.
One of the benefits of the new driver’s licence card will be improving the turnaround time for producing licences – thanks to enhanced production processes.
The new licence card will also be aligned with international best practices and incorporate a range of new technologies.
“The introduction of the new driving licence involves a new design of the driving licence card and the re-engineering of processes to allow for agility and focus on delivering services efficiently and quickly,” it said.
The introduction of a new driver’s licence card which meets the criteria above will then allow the DLCA launch an electronic driver’s licence.
“The changes to the card production environment will lay the foundation for the introduction of a mobile or e-driving licence (e-DL),” it said.
“With the introduction of the e-DL, the motorist will have an option to apply for a physical card and electronic driver’s licence.”
This will, in theory, allow motorists to carry a digital copy of their driver’s licence on a mobile device, such as a smartphone.
“According to an ICASA report on the state of the ICT sector, the total number of 4G/LTE device subscribers in South Africa in 2018 was over 12.6 million. The report also found that South Africa has an 81.72% smartphone penetration,” it said.
The DLCA therefore anticipates that the adoption of the e-DL will be successful.